Recently got email from someone asking me to promote Fae Nightmares, a new Savage Worlds-rules-using tabletop RPG Kickstarter project, and their reasoning was solid, so I have backed the Kickstarter and am writing about it here even though it is urban fantasy with faerie overtones and that is, to put it generously, not really my thing at all. (Although the Savage Worlds ruleset is generally excellent, so that’s a plus.) At this writing they’re only about $4K away from funding with twelve days to go.
The reason I’m backing this Kickstarter is because it’s actively advertising itself as gender-neutral and LGBT-friendly. That is, to put it bluntly, pretty goddamn ballsy in the RPG world – which is approximately as bad as the comics world when it comes to queer-friendliness and anti-sexism, and I know that sentence will start a lengthy debate about whether RPG fandom is as bad as comics fandom when it comes to sexism and homophobia, and the answer to that debate is “nobody wins.”
(Someone here is probably going to mention how White Wolf’s games always had gay characters and I don’t want to get into that debate either, but suffice it to say I have been subjected to more than one rant from a gay gamer friend about how White Wolf treats homosexuals as Pokemon. I do not feel equipped to judge that on the merits, but on the other hand it’s White Wolf, who managed to create one and a half truly great RPGs – Mage, and Ars Magica, which only counts for half because Chaosium started that and WW just took it over later on – and so, so, so much that was just awful, so whatever, somebody else can defend White Wolf.)
In short: these folks are banking on RPG fans being willing to pay hard cash for equality in-setting, and I think I have to support that. And given how many of you reading this are the sort to say that [INSERT VARIOUS NERD FANDOM HERE] should be more open and tolerant and non-assholic, I think you guys should too. It’s only $15 for the PDF, and that’s not bad at all as RPG e-books go.